Home Page


Governor Impact Statement

Welcome to the Governors' section

Janet Pollard - Foundation Governor and Chair

Current Academic Year Attendance - 3 out of 3 meetings

I have worked for Bolton Council since April 2002.  My current role is Head of Strategic Finance and Accounting.  I am a qualified Accountant (ACCA).  I feel that my role at the Council has provided me with the skills to become a school governor.  I was honoured to become a governor at St. Stephen’s in 2013. I am currently the Chair of the Governing Body.

I live in Astley with my husband Peter.  We have 2 daughters and a grandson who attends St. Stephen’s school.  My husband makes and repairs brass and woodwind instruments, music is a large part of our life.

I really enjoy being part of the St. Stephen’s Family, I like to come into school when ever I can.  I am proud of each child that attends the school, they work hard, play hard and are encouraged to reach their individual potential.


Alison  Paddon - Foundation Governor and Vice Chair

Current Academic Year Attendance - 2 out of 3 meetings

Since moving to Astley in 1989 I have been a regular communicant at St Stephen’s Church. My children were variously baptised, confirmed and married at the church and St Stephen’s Church of England Primary School was my school of choice for their education so I was delighted to be asked to serve as a Foundation Governor at the school.

As a Governor I oversee the general curriculum at the school. I bring to this role over 25 years experience as a Secondary School History teacher and Director of Studies and more recently my work within the museum sector. I now work at IWM North where I continue to work with teachers and schools having created learning resources to support schools in their commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. Part of this work involves keeping up-to-date with educational changes, knowledge that supports my role as a Governor at St Stephen's.

I have a wide range of interests. I enjoy reading, baking and various craft activities. I visit the theatre as often as I can and I enjoy music and film. Having been persuaded to learn to ride by my daughter I share her passion for horse riding. Above all I continue to love learning new things and new skills – I believe that education and lifelong learning is all.


Revd Martin Cox - Foundation Ex-Officio Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 2 out of 3 meetings

As Team Rector, I am an ex-officio governor, which basically means I'm a governor because I'm Team Rector! I am married to Heather, who is the administration officer at Garret Hall School. Heather and I have two adult children, both of whom are now married and have their own children. We enjoy walking, musical theatre and cooking - well I do! I have also taken up open-water swimming in the last couple of years and I use this to raise money for good causes. I am also a governor of St George's Central Primary school.


Emma Teale - Foundation Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 2 out of 3 meetings

I was delighted to be appointed as a parent governor in September 2014, as I felt that I had time and experience to give back to the school and our local community.  In 2017, I became a foundation governor and I have had the privilege of being the Chair of the curriculum and standards Committee. 

My background is in facilities management and my main aims as a governor are to uphold the ethos of the School and to ensure that every child at St Stephen’s can fulfil their full potential.  I have a daughter in Year 4 at St Stephen’s and a son in Year 8 at St Mary’s, both of my children have adored their time here. 

My specific role as a governor is EYFS (Reception) and KS1 (Year 1 & 2).  I am keen to provide a great provide a great learning environment and facilities for all our children, as well as helping to create and maintain a proactive governing body.


Nicky Wallace - Foundation Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 3 out of 3 meetings

I have had connections with St Stephen’s Church and school for over 26 years. Whilst my two sons attended St Stephen’s school, I was an active member of the Parents’ Association and a volunteer within the school. I started to work in the school office as an Admin Assistant in 2004, taking over the role as Admin Officer in 2009 until my retirement in April 2020.

Until recently my main interest was to scuba dive but now I love to go fell walking in the Lake District with my husband or dusting off my bike and having a cycle around the local area.

I feel that I am in a very privileged position being able to work with the rest of the governing body towards achieving the best for our school whilst building stronger links with the church and wider community for the benefit of all the children.


Ceri Forster - Foundation Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 2 out of 3 meetings

I have been a Family Solicitor since 2005; supporting, advising and representing separating couples across the North West in relation to all aspects of relationship breakdown. I have a particular passion for supporting victims of domestic abuse and am accredited as an expert in this area. In addition to representing victims of domestic abuse within the legal process I am also a Trustee of a Bolton based charity, Endeavour, who offer support to victims of domestic abuse and run a pet fostering service.

I live in Astley with my husband Matt, our two daughters and our Labrador, Ruby. Matt is a driving instructor and can often be spotted driving around the area teaching students to drive. Our eldest daughter, Niamh attends St Stephen’s school and in September 2020 she was joined by our youngest daughter, Ava. Ava’s first year of school was interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic but the support she received from her teacher and the whole school family meant that she made good progress in her first year and was settled easily as she started school and when she returned after periods of home schooling.

When Matt and I were looking at school’s we were drawn to St Stephen’s and its family feel. The single class entry was a very important feature for us as are children are quite shy and we felt they would benefit from a close knit school. The fact that we can see the school from our back garden helps!

In 2015 Niamh started at St Stephen’s school. Although she enjoyed school it required a lot of adjustment for her. To support Niamh I became involved with the Parent’s Association and in 2016, following a vote, I was pleased to be elected as a Parent Governor. In my role as Parent Governor I am a member of the Curriculum Committee and am the link Governor for SEND provision and Equality.


Leanne Dunn - Parent Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 1 out of 2 meetings

I’m really pleased to be elected as Parent Governor at Astley St. Stephen’s. 

I am a Health Visitor in our local community and have worked with children as a Children’s Nurse & Health Visitor across Greater Manchester since 2005. 

From my skills and experience in my career so far, I will be able to contribute my knowledge of health and development of children, SEND, safeguarding children and child protection to the role of Parent Governor. I am particularly keen to ensure that all children are safeguarded well and can fulfil their full potential whatever their background, special educational needs, or disabilities.

Myself & my husband have grown up in Astley and our son is currently in Year 4 at St Stephen’s and loves his school. He was recently elected as a member of his school council. 

On my days off I enjoy walking our dog Gus, looking after my horse & watching our son play football.


Jessica Eckersley - Parent Governor

Current Academic Year Attendance - 2 out of 2 meetings

I have been a primary school teacher since 2005 and have worked in four schools during my career so far. I currently work in Newton Westpark Primary School as a teacher in year 1. I feel that my years of experience as a teacher will help me to do the best job I can in my new role as a parent governor. I feel very honoured to have been elected. My son is currently in year 1 at Astley St. Stephens and he absolutely loves the school. We are delighted with how he has settled in and we can see that the ethos and the family feel of St. Stephens has really helped him to become a confident member of the school community. I am very committed to ensuring that every child in school enjoys school life and reaches their full potential.

My husband and I have lived in the Tyldesley/ Astley area since 2006 and we have found the community to be very welcoming. I am originally from Woking in Surrey but have lived up North for 18 years now.

I enjoy tap dancing, walking, reading and cold water swimming. I love the outdoors and believe that you can gain so much from being in nature. I am also passionate about learning languages and can speak French fluently and some Italian and Spanish. I am always keen to learn more!

Our School is Voluntary-Aided, its Governing Body consists of both appointed and elected governors.


The aim of the Governor team at our school is to work with the staff to make St Stephen's Primary School an exciting, safe and happy environment in which the children can reach their potential.


The main role of a Governing Body is to give direction, support and challenge to the school leadership.


We do this in the following ways:

  • Monitoring the performance and progress of our children;
  • Monitoring and evaluating of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural life of the school;
  • Working with the staff to help them teach and care for our children;
  • Deciding on how the resources of the school are best used. We have prime responsibility for the finance of the school;
  • Providing a strategic review of the school - planning ahead so that the performance of our children and our school continues to improve.

Meetings of the full Governing Body are usually held once a term throughout the school year. Topics covered in meetings may include: planning the school's long term vision through the School Development Plan, the school budget, target setting and monitoring.


Much of the work however, is devolved to a series of committees to ensure the workload is dealt with effectively. Sub-committees focus on Finance and resources & Standards and curriculum.

To monitor the curriculum each governor has a link responsibility for one area of it and meets with the relevant member of staff.

Governors generally hold their office for a period of four years at a time.


Attendance at Meetings for 2021-22

Declaration of Interests

Governor Roles and Resposibilities